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How To Ensure Your 3D File is Printable Before Printing

How To Ensure Your 3D File is Printable Before Printing

Nothing is more frustrating than having a 3D print fail for no clear reason. You have wasted your time and potentially a lot of material.

A number of factors may contribute to failed prints, but one common cause that is often overlooked has to do with the integrity of the STL file sent to the printer.

There are several reasons why an STL file may not be printable. One has to do with the structure of STL files. The STL “format” is actually a file description language that can be applied in slightly different ways by different CAD applications.

“STL” stands for Surface Tessellation Language; which is a means for describing a tessellated mesh of triangles that define the surface of the object. Meshes can be derived from 3D CAD applications, various 3D modeling applications and from “point clouds” generated by 3D scanners.

The same file can be described in different levels of precision based on the number of facets (triangles) used to define the object.

Because these files can be very large, most CAD and 3D modeling applications use floating point calculations for faster calculations at the expense of accuracy. The more facets in the 3D mesh, the more errors that can be created.

Other problems occur due to the way applications define geometric components. The way a “hole” is defined in one CAD application may differ from another. This creates the possibility of having holes or intersecting planes where one geometric object connects with another.

All of these problems are difficult to see on the screen when working in a CAD or 3D modeling application. The best way to deal with such problems is to use a 3D mesh analysis and repair application.

Open source software, such as Meshlab, is useful when the user has knowledge of how mesh repair methods work. Traditional commercial software, such as Netfabb, does an excellent job in repairing 3D files created by CAD applications. It does require some technical knowledge and training, but can be quite powerful. This software can be expensive.

Emendo™STL file repair and analysis software is a new, low cost entry into the market. It differs from Meshlab and Netfabb in that it is fairly automatic and does not require any knowledge of how mesh repair works. The Emendo software includes a special repair method for STL files created from various non-CAD sources. The Emendo application also allows the user to decide on three levels of repair precision that provide a trade-off between repair time and precision of the repaired file.

There are trade-offs between price, ease of use and capability between the different repair software options available. The important thing to remember is that using STL file repair will save you time, material and frustration in getting to a successful print. For more information, please contact support@avante-technology.com or go to our store.

Automatic STL File Repair Addresses 3D Printing Problems from non-CAD Applications

Automatic STL File Repair Addresses 3D Printing Problems with Mashup Files Created from non-CAD Applications

Cheyenne, Wyoming, 27 January 2015…Avante Technology, LLC, a company specializing in the development of advanced 3D printing technologies, announced version 1.1 of its Emendo™ Automated STL File Repair and Validation Software which now provides support for complex files created from multiple source applications. Most conventional STL file repair software is designed to support files created in a CAD or single 3D modeling application.

Emendo is the first low cost file repair product that automatically analyzes and repairs 3D STL files and allows users to select the level of precision they want. This saves time where lengthy high precision repairs are not required.

Two Modes of Operation for Two Types of STL Files

For STL files created in a CAD application or in a single 3D modeling application, the default Surface Reconstruction mode is a highly precise, “lossless” repair algorithm that repairs seven types of errors that occur when files created in CAD and other types of 3D modeling software are saved in the STL file format.

STL files created by combining 3D files from multiple applications, or those containing serious design flaws (such as having surfaces defined as “zero thickness”), may require a complete rebuilding of the mathematical mesh defining the surface of the object. Emendo’s Lattice Reconstruction mode is designed for this type of comprehensive repair, which repairs more files than the Surface Reconstruction mode. This repair mode requires more computing time and results in much larger file size. The repaired file may also lose some of its precision but will be printable in most cases.

User Selectable Precision

Users may select from low, medium and high levels of precision when using the Lattice Reconstruction mode. This saves a great deal of time when the object to be printed does not require fine resolution, or where the precision level of the selected 3D printer is relatively low.

One Button Operation

Open the application and double click on the file to be repaired. Emendo automatically checks and validates the STL file. Errors are identified, listed and displayed with a 3D rendering of the object. Click on the Repair button and Emendo does the rest. When the repair is complete, the user has the option to re-name the repaired file or replace the original STL file with the repaired version.

Pricing and Availability

Single End User List Price is $79.95 (USD).
Volume pricing and OEM licensing is available upon request.
Technical support programs are available on the Avante Technology

Version 1.1 for Mac OS v.10.9 and later is available now.
Windows version scheduled for release in February 2015.
An SDK version is planned for release in Q1 2015.

End user licenses may be purchased for download at: http://avante-technology.com/buyemendo

Avante Technology at 3D Print Expo

Avante Technology Exhibits and Presents at 3D Print Expo in Bellevue WA

Avante Technology both exhibited and presented at two panel discussions on 3D printing and materials during the 3D Print Expo in Bellevue WA August 22-23 2014.

Bob Zollo, Ron Aldrich and Rich Geasey of Avante Technology.

Bob Zollo is a panel member on discussion related to 3D printing materials as well as on STL file repair issues.

Ron Aldrich is talking with a visitor about the Fabricatus 3D printer controller board and making the new Avante mascot on a 3D printer, the gecko!

3D Print Expo Artwork on Display

Awesome Artwork at the 3D Print Expo in Bellevue WA

Avante Technology exhibited at the 3D Print Expo in Bellevue WA on August 22-23 2014. While there were about 50+ exhibitors showing off their products and services there was alo a neat exhibit of 3D printed artwork.

The chess set was quite the hit, it has a value of $32,000!

Here are some images from the display:

New 3D Printer Electronic Controller Board Supports Dual Extruders

Avante Technology, LLC, a company specializing in the development of advanced 3D printing technologies, announced the commercial release of its new Fabricatus™ Advanced Electronic Controller Board for Desktop 3D Printers.

This high performance controller board is designed to support both single and dual extruder FDM printers, digital displays and Wi-Fi communications.

Fast and Powerful

The Fabricatus controller board uses a high performance ARM Coretex M3 CPU capable of supporting real time multi-tasking operations. The board is configured with six motor drivers, which are necessary to operate sufficient stepper motors to control two extruders. It is designed for easy installation and support of future digital display and Wi-Fi options.

Compact, Reliable and Easy to Install

The board measures 4 inches by 6-1/2 inches long by 3/4 inch high. It utilizes ribbon cable connectors for easy electrical installation. It runs on either 12 volt or 24 volt power. Components and circuits are properly grounded to prevent frying the board in case of component failure.

Supports Open Source Firmware

Based on an open source hardware design, the Fabricatus controller board runs the open source “Smoothie” firmware. The company plans to offer an enhanced firmware suite running on a custom RTOS designed to support more complex operations.

Pricing and Availability

List Price is $299.00 Advanced Purchase Price of $249.00 available through 10 September.
Volume pricing is available upon request. First production units available October 2014.

For more information contact:

North America: Richard Geasey at: richg@avante-technology.com

Europe: Ekkart Wegeleben, PDO Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany at:
ekkart.wegeleben@pdoeurope.com

Japan: Robert Zollo at: bobz@avante-technology.com

Avante Technology Announces the Release of Emendo STL File Repair Utility

Avante Technology, LLC, a company specializing in the development of advanced 3D printing technologies, announced the release of its Emendo™

Automated STL File Repair and Validation Software. Emendo automatically analyzes, repairs and validates STL format files to ensure they are technically correct representations of theobject before printing. The STL file format is the standard format used in 3D printers.

Identifying and Fixing Unseen Problems

The Emendo application provides users of all skill levels an easy, automatic method of validating their 3D files prior to printing. Users can quickly check to see if their CAD file or scanned image is saved as a valid manifold or “water-tight” STL file, and if not, automatically repair it.

STL files define the surface of the part to be printed. If there is a hole, or inconsistency in the surface (such as a “zero thickness wall), a 3D printer will have difficulty in printing the object as it was designed. Unlike 2D graphics files, 3D STL files can contain errors not easily seen or identified by the source application software. 

Simple, Fail-Safe Process

Drag and drop a file to the Emendo application and it automatically checks and validates the STL file. Routine errors are fixed automatically by the software. Any remaining errors are highlighted in a 3D display.  A dialog box presents the user with the option to repair the file. When the user selects the “repair” button, Emendo automatically repairs the file. When the user saves the repaired file, they have the option to re-name it as a separate file or replace the original STL file with the repaired version. 

Precise and Fast

A common problem in 3D printing has to do with tiny inaccuracies in the 3D model representing the object in the STL format. Each CAD or 3D scanner application software may output their mathematical construct of the 3D object in slightly different levels of precision. This is often due to the use of floating point calculations creating tiny rounding errors in the complex mathematical algorithms defining the object in 3D dimensions.

With thousands to millions of 3D triangular facets representing the object, even very tiny rounding errors can add up to a big problem when the file is printed. Unlike most other mesh repair software, Emendo utilizes a unique, proprietary set of algorithms that makes repairs with very high accuracy and at high speed of computation.

Pricing and Availability

Single End User List Price is $49.95. Volume pricing and OEM licensing is available upon request. Commercial and end user support programs available.

Version 1.0 for Mac OS  v.10.9 and later is scheduled for release September 2014.

Version 1.0 for Windows v. 7.0 and higher is scheduled for release in November 2014.

Avante Technology, LLC Announces the Release of Its Engineering Grade 3D Printing Filament

Avante Technology, LLC, a company specializing in development of advanced 3D printing technologies, announced the release of its new line of
“engineering grade” thermoplastic composite filaments and printing platform sheets designed for desktop 3D printers.

The FilaOne™ Advanced Composite Filament System for Desktop 3D Printers provides strong-er, more versatile printing materials through an integrated filament and printing platform sheet system formulated to work together for improved part adhesion during printing. This system solves three common problems with current desktop 3D printers:

  • Improves the mechanical strength of the printed part
  • Minimizes the impact of humidity on the printing process
  • Improves the adhesion of the part during the printing process

FilaOne™ GREEN Advanced Composite Filament for Desktop 3D printers is the first material in this new line of engineering grade materials. Scheduled for release in August, FileOne GREEN is designed to enable users to go beyond “conceptual prototyping” to create “functional prototypes” that are strong enough for limited use testing, and even production of simple objects.

This new proprietary material is stronger and more resilient than ABS and PLA, safer and easier to print with than ABS or nylon, and is not affected by moisture or humidity.

“Users will be able to create stronger, more useful objects, similar to what can be done on far more expensive industrial grade FDM printers” said Robert Zollo, CEO and Founder of Avante Technology. “Engineers and Manufacturers now can use affordable desktop printers to create useful working prototypes and even some simple production parts for fast time-to-market, with-out spending tens of thousands of dollars on an industrial grade printer.”

Unlike ABS and nylon, which give off noxious, harmful gasses when printing, FilaOne GREEN is nearly odorless when printing. FilaOne GREEN is also friendly to the environment. Unlike nylon and ABS (which contains styrene), the materials in FilaOne GREEN will safely degrade into eco-friendly residue in a land-fill over time.

Users will experience fewer failed prints due to the firm adhesion provided by the FilaOne™
Printing Adhesion Sheets. Improved adhesion minimizes warping, providing improved dimen-sional accuracy of the printed part

FilaOne™ filaments will be available in both 3.0 mm and 1.75 mm versions. Two FilaOne™ Printing Adhesion Sheets are included with each 1Kg reel of filament. Additional printing platform sheets are available separately.

FilaOne™ GREEN is available in natural and “eco-friendly” green colors. Additional colors are planned for release in Q4 2014.

The filament and printing sheets will be previewed at the 3D Printer World Expo, 22-23 August in Bellevue, Washington (3dprinterworldexpo.com) at the Avante Technology booth 49.

Pricing and availability for FilaOne™ GREEN filament and FilaOne™ printing adhesion sheets will be announced at this show. Cost of the filament is expected to be slightly higher than premium grade ABS.